Learning the Basics of Citrix XenApp 5 for Windows Server 2003 and XenServer 5.5 (Part 3 of 10)

In Part 2 of this 10-part series, you successfully installed XenServer, XenCenter, added your XenServer host to XenCenter, activated XenServer and performed additional optional configuration steps.  In Part 3, you will learn to create a Virtual Machine (VM) optimized for XenApp and install Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x86.
To simplify this learning process, you will take most of the XenServer VM creation defaults and make only minimal configuration changes to Windows Server 2003 R2.  Some of the VM creation options you have may be different than what I have because of possible hardware differences between our two lab server setups.  First, make sure you have a Windows Server 2003 R2 Product Key and ISO image file accessible.
Note:  What if you don’t have a copy of Windows Server 2003 R2?  To download a 180-day evaluation copy of Windows Server 2003 R2 as an ISO image, go to http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/bb430831.aspx .  You will need a Windows Live account or you can create an account.  Once logged in, follow the simple procedure to register for your software.  Once registration is complete, you will receive an e-mail with a link to get your Product Key and another link to download the software.  The downloads come with a “.img” file extension.  Simply rename the files with a “.iso” extension and save the files where they can be accessed by XenServer.
Let’s get started.
When you completed Part 2, you were in XenCenter with your XenServer host already connected and running.  First, XenServer needs to know where the ISO files are located.
Right-click XenServer1 and select New Storage Repository… (Figure1).

Figure 1

Select Windows File Sharing (CIFS) under ISO library and then click Next (Figure 2).

Figure 2

Type in a Name for the ISO Library and the path to the location of the ISO files.  If the ISO Library location needs login credentials, select Use different use name and provide the User name and Password.  Click Finish (Figure 3).
Note:  All ISO files must be in the root folder of the Window’s share.  XenServer does not search sub-folders for additional ISO files.

Figure 3

The ISO Library Storage Repository is added to the XenServer host (figure 4).

Figure 4

Click New VM on the toolbar (Figure 5).

Figure 5

Select Citrix XenApp and then click Next (Figure 6).

Figure 6

Type in a Name for the VM, an optional Description and then click Next (Figure 7).

Figure 7

Select ISO Image, click the dropdown box, select your Server 2003 ISO file and then click Next (Figure 8).

Figure 8

Accept the default of 1 for Number of vCPUs (Figure 9)
Change the Initial memory to 4096 (or the maximum you can set if you do not have 4096 available for Guests).
Why 4GB of RAM for this VM?  From my experience, Server 2003, with Terminal Services in Application Server mode, runs best in a virtual environment with 768MB of RAM.  You will also be installing:
–    Citrix License Management Console which uses Java
–    Web Interface
–    Delivery Services Console (formerly the Access Management Console)
–    Advanced Configuration (formerly the Presentation Server Console)
–    Access data store database
–    Citrix Web Client
and you will be using Internet Explorer to test running a Published Application.  Most of these will be open at the same time so the more RAM assigned to this VM the better.
Click Next.

Figure 9

Click Edit (Figure 10) so the disk size can be changed from 8GB to 12GB.

Figure 10

Change the Size (GB) to 12.0 and Click OK (Figure 11).

Figure 11

Click Next (Figure 12).

Figure 12

Note:  If you have multiple network interfaces and you chose to not remove the management interface from being automatically available to VMs, click that interface and then click Delete.
Click Next (Figure 13).

Figure 13

Leave Start VM automatically checked and click Finish (Figure 14).

Figure 14

You may want to enlarge XenCenter so the Windows setup process is more readable.
In the Server View, click on the new Citrix XenApp 5 on Server 2003 VM, click the Console tab and also select Scale (Figure 15).

Figure 15

Click into the VM Console and press Enter to setup Windows (Figure 16).

Figure 16

Press F8 to agree to the Windows Licensing Agreement (Figure 17).

Figure 17

Press Enter to create the hard disk partition (Figure 18).

Figure 18

Press Enter to format the partition with the NTFS file system (Figure 19).

Figure 19

If needed, customize your regional and language settings and then click Next (Figure 20).

Figure 20

Enter your Name and Organization and then click Next (Figure 21).

Figure 21

Enter your Product Key and click Next (Figure 22).

Figure 22

Select either Per server or Per Device or Per User and then click Next (Figure 23).
Note:  The Licensing Mode selected here has nothing to do with either Terminal Server or Citrix licensing.

Figure 23

For the Computer name type in citrixone, enter and confirm the Administrator password and then click Next (Figure 24).
Note: The license server name is CaSe SeNsiTive and must match the name entered when generating your license file.

Figure 24

Enter the correct Date & Time, Time Zone and then click Next (Figure 25).

Figure 25

Click Next (Figure 26).

Figure 26

Type in a workgroup name or click Next to accept the default workgroup name (Figure 27).

Figure 27

The Windows installation continues.  When the VM restarts, click the Send Ctrl-Alt-Del button and logon (Figures 28 and 29).

Figure 28

Figure 29

Click Cancel (Figure 30).  For this Server 2003 R2 installation CD 2 is not needed.

Figure 30

Click OK on the warning (Figure 31).

Figure 31

Click Finish to close the Windows Server Post-Setup Security Updates screen (Figure 32).  Windows Updates will be installed in Part 4 after all the necessary prerequisites have been installed first.

Figure 32

Click Yes on the security warning (Figure 33).

Figure 33

Select Don’t display this page at logon and then click the “X” in the upper right corner to close the Manage Your Server window (Figure 34).

Figure 34

Click VM on the toolbar and then click Install XenServer Tools (Figure 35).

Figure 35

Click Install XenServer Tools on the warning popup (Figure 36).

Figure 36

Select I accept the terms in the License Agreement and then click Next (Figure 37).

Figure 37

You may change the Destination Folder or click Install to accept the default location (Figure 38).

Figure 38

Select Reboot now and then click Finish (Figure 39).

Figure 39

When the VM restarts, click the Send Ctrl-Alt-Del button and logon to the server (Figures 28 and 29).
Click the yellow Display Settings balloon (Figure 40).

Figure 40

Select In the future, do not show me this dialog box and then click Yes (Figure 41).

Figure 41

Click Yes to accept the current display resolution (Figure 42).

Figure 42

If you have a retail version of Windows Server 2003 R2, you will notice the Windows Activation keys in the systray in the lower right corner (Figure 43).  Click the Keys to begin the Windows Activation process.

Figure 43

Select Yes, let’s activate Windows over the Internet now and then click Next (Figure 44).

Figure 44

Select No, I don’t want to register now, let’s just activate Windows and then click Next (Figure 45).

Figure 45

You should see the Thank You! screen.  If you see any activation error screens, correct the errors and complete the Windows Activation process. Your copy of Windows Server 2003 R2 is successfully activated.  Click OK (Figure 46).
Note:  This also verifies that the NIC dedicated for VM traffic works and is able to reach the Internet.

Figure 46

Citrix recommends a screen resolution of at least 1024 by 768 for the management consoles.  Hardware video acceleration should also be enabled for the best video performance in your VM.
Click Start -> Control Panel -> Display (Figure 47).

Figure 47

Click the Settings tab, change the Screen resolution to at least 1024 by 768 pixels and then click Apply (Figure 48).

Figure 48

Click Yes on the Monitor Settings popup to keep the new display settings (Figure 49).

Figure 49

Click the Advanced button (Figure 50).

Figure 50

Click the Troubleshoot tab, slide the Hardware acceleration slider all the way to the right towards Full and then click Apply (Figure 51).

Figure 51

Click OK to exit the Advanced settings dialog and then click OK to exit the Display Properties dialog.

In order to take snapshots after each article in this series, the XenServer Tools Volume Snapshot Provider (VSS) must be enabled.  The VSS provider is installed with the XenServer tools but it is not enabled by default.  Some Storage Area Networks and Network Attached Storage companies provide their own VSS tools and utilities.  For this series, we are using local storage for the VMs.  In order to provide for a proper snapshot, the XenServer VSS provider must be enabled.  The XenServer VSS provider is used to quiesce the guest file system in preparation for a VM snapshot.  With the VSS provider disabled, the VM snapshots could be in an inconsistent state and unusable.
Click Start -> Run and type in “C:\Program Files\Citrix\XenTools\install-XenProvider.cmd” and press Enter (Figure 52).

Figure 52

The VSS provider is installed (Figure 53).

Figure 53

You have now successfully created your VM and installed Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard x86.
In Part 4 of this series, you will install the Windows Server 2003 prerequisites for XenApp 5, the License Server and Web Interface and all Windows security updates.

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About Carl Webster

Webster is a Sr. Solutions Architect for Choice Solutions, LLC and specializes in Citrix, Active Directory and Technical Documentation. Webster has been working with Citrix products for many years starting with Multi-User OS/2 in 1990.

View all posts by Carl Webster

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